Pulp and paper negotiations break off



    MONTREAL, March 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union today expressed its disappointment with the failure of
early negotiations with AbitibiBowater.
    "CEP members came to these negotiations one year early to achieve more
stability for the Canadian pulp and paper industry and to stop the bleeding of
thousands of jobs," said CEP president Dave Coles.
    "Our members gave us a mandate to discuss an extension of our agreements
in exchange for improved job security. CEP members have already sacrificed
jobs and contributed tens of millions of dollars in productivity and
efficiency, and we proposed to the company that we work together on further
productivity and efficiency initiatives.
    "However, instead of working with the union and their employees towards
these goals, the negotiations were ended by the company because CEP would not
agree to major concessions concerning the pension plan and other issues.
    "We are very disappointed in this outcome. However, we must send a clear
and strong message to the industry that our position will not change one year
from now when our contracts expire.
    "The Canadian industry must become more productive and efficient. But
concessions and attacks on the pension plan will not save jobs or improve
productivity."
    Negotiations between the company and 30 CEP Local unions from
13 AbitibiBowater mills ended Thursday afternoon after five days of
discussions.




For further information:

For further information: Dave Coles, CEP President, (613) 299-5628

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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